tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN June 18, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world, i'm fareed zakaria. we'll begin today's show with the shocking shooting on that beltway ballfield. [ gunfire ] what does it say about how divided america is, how angry her people are at each other. and what are the chances of real reconciliation between the parties and amongst the american people. i have people who have studied and worked on just these issues. and another area sharply divided, the middle east. the split between the gulf
states and qatar. what will bring the crisis to a close? i will ask qatar's former prime minister. also, the trump boom. why have american stock markets gone up, up and further up while the country is mired in political turmoil and paralysis? we'll have an explanation. finally, america's census counts its people every ten years. this country is embarking on a census to count its islands, and there are thousands of them. but first here's my take. this week's shooting at a congressional baseball practice was a ghastly example of the political polarization that is ripping this country apart. political scientists have shown that congress is more divided than at any time since the end of reconstruction. i for one am struck not simply by the depth of partisanship
these days but increasingly its nature. the feeling seems to me that people on the other side of the divide are not just wrong and to be argued with, they are immoral and must be muzzled or punished. this is not about policy. the chasm between left and right during the cold war is far wider than it is today. many on the left want a nationalized or substantiate industries. on the right they wanted a total rollback of the new deal. today's divisions feel relatively small. partisanship today is more about identity. the scholars, ronald englehart and pippa morris have argued that the people have begun to define themselves less by traditional economic measures and instead by identity, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation. i would add social class, something rarely spoken of in america but a powerful determinant of how we see ourselves. the 2016 election, for example,
had a lot to do with social class, with non-college educated rural voters reacting against the professional urban elite. the dangerous aspect of this new form of politics is that identity does not lend itself easily to compromise. when the core divide was economic, you could always split the difference. if one side wanted to spend $100 billion and the other wanted to spend zero, well, there was a number in between. the same is true with tax cuts or welfare policy. but if the core issues are about identity, culture and religion, think about abortion, gay rights, confederate monuments, immigration, official languages, then compromise seems almost immoral. american politics in that sense is becoming more like middle eastern politics where there is no middle ground between being a sunni and a shiite. i've seen this shift in the reactions to my own writing and later my television show. when i started writing columns two decades ago, the
disagreements were often scathing but almost always about the substance of the issue. increasingly there is little discussion about the substance, mostly attacks often involving my race or ethnicity. today everything becomes fodder for partisanship. consider the production of julius caesar where he resembles president trump. they are claiming that it deplore ph glorifies the assassination of a president and seeking to defund the production. since i tweeted a line praising the production, i've received a barrage of attacks, many of them quite nasty. in 2012 a production of the same play had an obama-like caesar and no one complained. in fact the assassination was a disaster, leading to civil war anarchy and the fall of the
roman republic. the assassins were defeated, humiliated, racked with guilt, died horrible deaths. the play's director has explained the message he intended to convey. quote, julius caesar can be a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means. political theater is as old as human civilization. a sophisticated play by shakespeare that actually presents caesar, or trump, in a mixed, somewhat favorable light is something to be discussed, not censored, and certainly not blamed for the actions of a single deranged shooter. i recently gave a speech at bucknell university in which i criticized america's mostly liberal colleges for silencing views they deemed offensive, arguing that it was bad for the students and the country. the same holds for conservatives who try to mount campaigns to defund art they deem offensive. do conservatives now want
central park to be their own special safe space? i for one will keep arguing that liberals and conservatives should open themselves to all kinds of opinions and ideas that differ from their own. instead of trying to silence, excommunicate and punish, let's look at the other side and try to listen, engage, and when we must, disagree. for more go to cnn.com/fareed and read my "washington post" column this week, and let's get started. so exactly how can the left and the right, the democrats and the republicans of the united states, stop this struggle? how can they reconcile? that's what i want to talk about today with a group of very smart people who have given a lot of thought to these subjects. david blackenhorn is a thinker and author and president of
better angels, a group dedicated to reuniting america. jill abramson is the former executive editor of "the new york times," currently teaching, writing at harvard. ed luce is the author of a new book, "the retreat of western liberalism." and a distinguished professor of peace and reconciliation at u-mass boston. david blackenhorn, let me start with you. what do you think is dividing us so deeply these days? is it fundamentally economics, social class, culture, how do you see it? >> we're definitely divided by ideology left and right, but we're also -- there's a tremendous class divide with the top 25% or 30% having less and less interaction with everybody else. there's also a governing divide that people in the u.s. both right and left don't trust anybody, even their own people, to be effective politicians.
so there's i'd say three levels of polarization all increasing. >> how does it strike you, compared with other countries? is america more divided? >> i believe it's very important that we begin this program by acknowledging first the condition of congressman scalise and hope for him family and wish him well on his long way to recovery, but we should also acknowledge james hodgkinson. he has been demonized in the media, called evil and other things. and we forget in doing so that he was a human being, that he had a family, that he had children, that he laughed, that he cried, that he was happy, that he was sad. we forget that people mourn his loss. they're ashamed of him. and if we don't humanize him
too, if we other him, we are really at what i would say the fundamental root of the conflict, and that is that we engage in behavior in which we other the other. we rob them of the legitimacy of their humanity. and i think that is true across societies in conflict in other places and also true in the united states. you have two segments of the population that for all intents and purposes don't know each other. with the rise of social media, rather than connecting people, it has disconnected them. what you have is people in blue states talking to people in blue states and people in red states talking to people in red states and neither are talking to each other. >> ed luce, in your book, "the retreat of western liberalism," you deal with this issue because
you talk about how liberalism has always been premised on the idea that people can argue with one another, that there is a rational basis for argument and from that argument will come some kind of common wisdom. do you think this has just collapsed in the united states? >> well, i think if you look at what the founding fathers said and what other greats and liberal thinkers like jon stewart mills said, is that the clash of steel, the clash of ideas will always produce better outcomes. as long as this debate takes place in the public square. but what we have in today's america and in other democracies is quite separate public squares. so the late daniel patrick moynihan and another great liberal figure in the larger sense of the word liberal said you're entitled to your own opinions but you're not entitled to your own facts. it's very hard to have that
intelligent argument if people are in different -- not only in different squares, but there isn't even a sort of connecting corridor between the squares. it's very hard to imagine how civility can ensue when people don't even meet each other or live near each other who hold different positions or let their children marry or wish their children to marry people of different views. so that's my concern, there is no public square. >> jill, you've written that you think that while all this is true, this is not a situation where both sides are equally at fault. >> i do think that both sides are not equally at fault and that there's been a bit of a false equivalency at work, especially in the discussion over the past couple of days. i think that in terms of political leadership right now
that both president trump and the congressional leadership on the republican side are extremely divisive and that they are really benefitting from a kind of rage machine that operates in this country. and, yes, let's just think of two recent episodes. health care and the repeal of obamacare. when the democrats were actually shaping that legislation originally and the obama white house, they had open hearings, public hearings. right now the republican-led senate is having entirely secret process for formulating their bill. no hearings. they won't even brief democrats in the senate about what's in that legislation.
and then when president obama nominated a moderate, merrick garland, to the supreme court, the republicans refused to take action and hold a hearing on his nomination. the democrats didn't do that with with president trump's nominee. so it isn't equivalent behavior on both sides. >> all right. i'm going to ask david bl blankenhorn to respond to that and whether it is more the republican fault, but also i want to get at what can we do to make things better and to look internationally where there are examples of reconciliation back in history. that covers you part way, so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. this is a story about mail and packages.
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we are back with david blankenhorn, jill abramson, ed lewis and padraig o'malley talking about lessons from abroad bridging america's vast political divide. david blankenhorn, i first have to ask you, it's not just what jill abramson said. people at the american enterprise institute and the brookings institute who have studied this and come to the conclusion that it is true that the republicans have become more extreme than the democrats. that while there is a polarization on both sides, the shift on the right is much more extreme than on the left. do you buy that? >> i'm familiar with that literature. i think there's a lot of truth to it. but today what i'm not that interested in figuring out who's more to blame. i'm honestly not. i'm mainly interested in recovering what was just called on the show the common public square, and that's why what i'm doing now, i'm going around the country and we're bringing
together people who are generally supportive of president trump and people who are critical and we're having meetings where we talk to one another. not about one another, not at one another, but actually talk with one another. and we're doing this around the country. and i'll tell you, it's a wonderful thing to see, because we're not as -- when we actually talk to one another, we're not as divided as we thought. there's a lot less demonization. there's a lot of reduction in rancor. your blood pressure goes down. you feel better about your country. and that's what we need to do. irrespective of what the politicians do, irrespective of bad behavior in washington and irrespective of who is most to blame for the mess we're in. >> padraig, what other lessons from northern ireland? >> every human being has two personas. one is the ideological persona and the other is the human
persona. the ideological persona can be nationalism, can be marxism, can be socialism, can be any kind of ism. and then on the flip side you have the human being, who laughs, who cries, who cheers for his children, who wonder about their kids, and we must talk to that person, not to the ism. we must get back to not othering other people. and i hear -- what disturbs me a lot is that i watch a fair amount of msnbc. i am distraught that it has become -- it is adding to polarization because it has the same guests on not only night after night but sometimes two or three times in the same night and they're all saying the same
thing and they're all trying to earn points against trump. that does not help and it does not help to say that one side is more at fault than the other. >> jill, we can have people talk to one another, ordinary people, but what do you think is the role for leadership? because it does seem to me, at least, that some part of this divide has been produced by a political elite that has becomin increasingly divisive and increasingly nasty to one another. >> well, i agree with you on that. i do think that journalism does have a role to play if we're going to have some kind of reconciliation and lessening of this very intense partisanship and extremism, you know, in
either of the parties because i think what our society desperately needs is to regain a respect for facts. and the reality that there is an objective truth that can be obtained. and yes, there are many media organizations that compound partisanship and extremism, but there are a group of very high quality news organizations that try very hard to tell the news straight and to cover stories truthfully and bringing the reality of how people live to life in news stories, and i just think it's incredibly dangerous right now that we live in a society where people can't even agree on what a fact is. >> can i pick up on another point about leadership.
i think an example that others have studied in south africa, why is it that south africa didn't descend into a politics of racial vengeance against the white minority that sustained apartheid for so long. i think there's one pretty simple answer and that is nelson mandela. nelson mandela was an extraordinary individual and he set the tone for the politics through the truth and reconciliation commission that was a nonpunitive way of looking at the crimes of apartheid and through just his very manner. he's very bearing as a leader of the new south africa, so leadership is very important. and i can't sort of be asked my views on this subject that without mentioning that it works the other way. when you get leaders who demonize and who call out and who insult and who mock, like donald trump does, then you're going to get an equally bad
signal and an enabling behavior for people out there. so i totally agree with the sentiments of what everybody has said, that you need to get people who disagree with each other talking to each other, seeing their human side. i think that's absolutely vital. but i also think it is critical that you have leaders who do not go for the lowest sort of human insult whenever they feel that they're being challenged. i'm sorry to say, but that's kind of the elephant in the room here. it is president trump. >> well, this is a fascinating conversation and we will have to have it again because i don't think this problem is going away. thank you all. next on "gps" president trump says he wants to fix america's crumbling infrastructure, which is great. but it turns out he wants somebody else to pay for most of us. i say that's a bridge too far, a rusting, rotting, broken bridge too far, when we come back. you don't let anything
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now for our "what in the world" segment. i've often said if donald trump does something that to my analysis is right, i would support it. and the one piece of his campaign rhetoric with which i agreed entirely was his promise to put forward a $1 trillion plan to rebuild america's infrastructure. the problem stares us in the face every day, from a spillway failure at the nation's tallest dam causing the evacuation of 188,000 people, to a bridge collapse several years ago at a major transportation artery which killed 13 people, public works in the united states are in such poor shape that the american society of civil engineers gives the nation's crumbling infrastructure a barely passing grade of d plus this year. now, in case you missed it, the president did unveil his infrastructure proposal on the banks of the ohio river in cincinnati. >> my new vision for american
infrastructure will rebuild our country by generating $1 trillion in infrastructure investment. >> but, it turns out, trump's infrastructure plan is not a trillion dollar public works project. it's just $200 billion worth of corporate tax breaks and sent i'ves spread out over nine years which will spark a trillion dollars worth of infrastructure investment mostly by private investors and state and local governments. his actual budget cuts the department of transportation's budget by 13% and the army corps of engineers' budget by 16%. some of trump's new proposals are worth considering, suches athe one to turn the nation's air traffic control system into a nonprofit corporation, a model that has worked well in canada. in general, privatization is worth trying, but it has to be structured carefully. in the uk, for example, private investors successfully run
heathrow airport, which increased passenger volume and actually turns a profit. but when a private consortium tried to operate london's underground in the mid-2000s, they went bankrupt and, according to bloomberg, left british taxpayers on the hook for as much as $516 million. and none of this changes the fundamental reality. the federal government needs to spend large sums of money to repair and rebuild america's infrastructure. as a percentage of total federal spending, we're spending less now than at almost any time in the past 60 years on infrastructure. the u.s. ranks 15th in infrastructure spending, behind china, of course, but behind australia and brazil, according to a 2016 mckenzie report. fancy schemes and phrases like public-private partnership won't change that reality. as another mckenzie report pointed out, businesses and investors fear returns from infrastructure projects will be way too low.
there's little money to be made in fixing leaky water pipes and filling potholes. several economists have pointed out that with interest rates so low, this is the ideal time to borrow money to invest in something that has large and tangible payoffs, less traffic, shorter commutes, greater productivity throughout the economy. writing for the bond buyer, two pundits suggested tax issue make america great again bonds, great idea, plus congress should raise the federal gas tax, one of the main funding sources for infrastructure repairs. that has remained unchanged since 1993, which when taking inflation into account means it buys 40% less than it did 24 years ago as "the new york times" calculated. if congress doesn't somehow raise more money, the cbo says the highway trust fund budget shortfall will reach $139 billion in just ten years.
conservatives like to say there is no free lunch. well, there are no free bridges, train stations and roads either. if we want to make american infrastructure great again, we will have to pay for it. next on "gps," the dow jones industrial average was up almost 100 points on the day donald trump was inaugurated. now it's up well over 1,000 points since then. a boom during a time of political turmoil. richard shurma will explain why this is happening. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights. and fragmented care- stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list. for those who won't rest until the world is healthier, neither will we. optum. how well gets done.
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despite a criminal investigation that could go all the way to the top of the white house, despite what appears to have been a politically motivated shooting of republican congresspeople this week, despite a federal government that is still missing many of the people who are supposed to be in place to run it, the american stock market keeps chugging along, indeed thriving. the benchmark dow jones industrial average is up more than 1,500 points in the roughly
150 days since inauguration. why are america's markets up big league, as president trump might say? it's a question that puzzles many and morgan stanley's richard sherma is here to explain that and much more. it's a larger puzzle in a way for people. there are lots of people that felt that obama had a business unfriendly policy in many ways and yet the market kept going up. people said when brexit happens, you know, the markets will tank. they didn't really. when trump was elected, people said markets would tank. not so much because trump would be so terrible, but the uncertainty, the question. you have a fundamentally different view. >> my basic view is that the united states is almost a post-democratic society where the impact of politics on the markets or even the economy is very limited. so this is very different to, let's say, an emerging market.
see what's happening in brazil. in brazil we had the impeachment scandal where the president may have to lose his job, and there the markets are in complete panic. so in fact if a guy like trump had been elected in an emerging market or if these scandals were playing out in an emerging market, the outcome would be very different compared to what's happening in the united states. i think that's because we sort of underestimate the strength of institutions in a country such as the united states. >> and why then, in your view, is the market rising? i mean there are people who say, well, it's rising because there are actually broad economic factors that are positive, which are actually mostly outside america. that the world economy is better, china has not collapsed, europe is coming back. is that what's at the heart of this stability in the stock markets? >> yes, it is, in terms of the fact but i also feel there is a role to be played of the very easy money of the federal reserve. i think what you're seeing is across the world all asset prices are rising, so it's not
just stocks, but even bond prices are rising, and other asset rises, real estate as well is rising. so that for me is the much bigger worry of the american market. outside of that brief spell in the late 1990s when we were all caught up in the tech boom, the american market has never been this expensive. in fact in the entire history that we have of the last century or so, never before have all asset prices simultaneously been as expensive as they are now. talking about stocks, bonds, real estate, everything today is expensive compared to the historical averages. in the past one asset would be expensive, something else would not be. so this is a very unusual thing which is happening. i think a lot if the has to do with the fact that we have free money, people go out and make more money with it. >> and trump and his supporters say it's going to be okay because we are going to unleash serious growth with deregulation, with tax cuts, with reforms, with infrastructure spending, and we
are going to achieve at least 3% growth, maybe even 4%. you have a very powerful counter argument. explain what it is. >> yeah. my basic argument is that two drivers of economic growth, one is increase in the number of people working and two is the productivity of these people. and people really -- >> by the way, that's a fact. >> that's a fact. this is like an economic equation. >> how many people -- how many people you have work and how productively they work. >> yes. and i think that's the point. that half the story has to do with demographics. america and the world's demographics have changed very significantly over the past decade or so. that america's population growth, particularly the working population growth between 15 to 64, that growth rate has fallen very sharply. it's in fact growing at half the pace as it was for much of post war history. so my point is the main reason the global economy and the u.s. economy grew so rapidly in the post world war ii era was
because of the baby boomers, was because we had an unusual explosion in the world's population growth rate. and that growth rate now has fallen off a cliff. >> so you say, and this is important, because all trump's budget calculations are based on at least 3% growth, if not more. you're saying it is simply almost mathematically unattainable because of this demographic reality? >> yes, because of the factors that productivity, you can try and increase through whatever you do. my point is even if productivity, you take it back up to the reagan era, which is 2%, the working population growth rate over the next few years is expected to be less than half a percent. so to get back above 3% you need a productivity of the kind which america has almost never seen. so i think that's the point. that yes, you can hope for miracles, but you can't plan on that. you can't base your forecast on that. >> final point, the one saving grace here, tell me if i'm right or wrong, is the united states still takes in a lot of young immigrants. >> yes.
but i think that's also changing at the margin. there's been a sharp dropoff. as i said, demographics is half the growth story. in america's case, the inflow of immigrants over the last few decades has played a very important role in beefing up demographics of this country. here's one statistic i think is absolutely stunning. which is that if you account for demographics, in share per capita income terms, the growth rate of america has been no different than that of japan and europe over the last ten or even 20 years virtually. so the biggest comparative advantage that america has is not so much google and stanford, which is about productivity, it's about demographics, which is about like babies and immigrants. and i think -- >> mexicans crossing the border. >> but that, i think, has like slowed down significantly. that's another reason as to why it will be so difficult for america to grow at 3% because the inflow of immigrants and
also the growth rate of the population, domestic population with a decline in the birth rates has slowed down very significantly. >> all right. this is a cold shower. thank you, ruchir. up next, the middle east in a different kind of crisis than usual. this time many arab states are turning against one of their own. to try to understand the qatar crisis, we call in the country's former prime minister, when we come back. rial automatically adjusts to your weight, shape and temperature. so you sleep deeply, and wake up feeling powerful. find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com all umm...ed. you wouldn't want your painter to quit part way, i think you missed a spot. so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. you want this color over the whole house? this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people.
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the tiny arab state of qatar sole land border with saudi arabia is now closed. flights from their capital to other destinations have been cancelled indefinitely. ships going to and from qatar have been blocked from the gulf's biggest seaports. so by land, air and sea, qatar is mostly blockaded. this is a case of neighbor
against neighbor. >> it's an accumulation of qatar's behavior. >> saudi arabia, the uae, egypt and some of their allies say the emirate of qatar is a sponsor of terror and donald trump has echoed that sentiment. those neighbors also say qatar is in bed with iran, and they have had enough. let's talk about the blockade and the allegations with a key figure in qatar, shaikh al thani served as prime minister until 2013 and he joins me now. so how surprised were you by these actions taken largely at the behest of saudi arabia? >> well, the action that's been taken, which is unjustified unfortunately, it caught everybody by surprise. since we did not have any indication that there is a problem.
as he was in riyadriyadh, they tell him if there's any problem. but it's being planned for a long time. at the same time that he was talking in normal talk with our neighbors, as there is nothing, and suddenly this happened. >> what do you attribute it to? what do you think happened? do you think that trump's visit might have encouraged the saudis? >> well, i think this is a contribution. in my opinion it's not the trump visit or not trump visit, but the main thing is why this happened. all this large acquisition that we are with iran and we are with terrorists and we are financing terrorists, and i think these things for us is a surprise because we are working with the american ally in fighting terrorism. and you know their advance base in qatar is taking care of the
terrorism and we are participating in that. so for us it was -- it was not justified to say that we are with iran because we are with iran fighting face to face in syria and we support different guys in syria and we have a lot of changes. but it doesn't mean that we have a bad relation with iran, since we have jointly with iran. but there is a lot of different things between us and iran and how we are looking at things. and financing, what they say, we hear a lot of acquisition, a lot of mud being thrown to us and unfortunately being the support of president trump for this allegation, encourage our people to do more and to take it in a way that shows that it's not brotherly being taken. for us we are ready to see what
is this, what we did wrong in term as they say terrorism financing because as far as we know we are financing -- there is bad financing from all -- neighbors and other countries. but qatar may be the smallest individuals because the tightness of regulation in qatar is much higher than some of our neighbors, as you know. >> you know donald trump personally. what is your message to him? >> yes, i know him personally. and my message to him, mr. president, you are brave enough to look at the matter and other matter and i believe that qatar was ally and will stay ally for united states and all the other gcc countries also your ally. and i would like and ask that they look at the matter from a
strategical standpoint in a fair way and see if there is a mistake and all this is being made up for a reason which is behind what we can do or we can help. and the reason because there is some other guys would like to do different policy without consulting with us. >> and again, do you mean saudi arabia? >> i mean all the brother country. and i mean saudi arabia. they have to look at qatar as their small brothers and small country, but with the same integrity. we have the same integrity. and i think what happened, it touch our integrity by the way how the media take it, and we did not being used to this kind of an insult, which i think it will leave a scar. >> sheikh al thani, thank you so much. you don't let anything
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ministers? latvia and portugal, serbia and ireland, italy and malta or croatia and norway? stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. this week's book of the week is tom rick's "church ill and/orwell, the fight for freedom." i'm a fan of both but didn't think i'd need to read both about them but it turns out this is a wonderful book. the brief biographies are very well done, the pairing is well inspired and throughout the author's intelligent insights shine through. and now for the last look. the u.s. constitution mandates that the country count its population every ten years. it's not an easy task, according to the u.s. census bureau there is a birth every eight seconds and a death every 12. including international migrants there is a net gain of one person every 13 seconds. imagine having to keep track not only have an evolving population but an evolving terrain.
indonesia is estimated to have at least 17 1/2 thousand islands of which thousands of unhabit but no one knows the true tally, so the country is counting its islands. a team will travel through the roughly 740,000 square miles documenting all the land that it finds. by counting and registering its islands with the united nations, indonesia hopes to firmly establish its borders and protect its resources. seems like a good idea, but counting just once may not be enough, as the bbc notes, between losing islands to rising sea levels and form them in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the tally keeps moving. the answer to my gps challenge this week is b, serbia and ireland. the president of serbia nominated ana burabish to be prime minister this week. she will not be the country's first openly gay prime minister but also the first female to
hold that position. in ireland, leo, a doctor and son of an indian immigrant was formally confirmed as the country's first openly gay prime minister this week. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. hey, i'm brian stelter. happy father's day, and welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "reliable sources." our weekly look at the story behind the story. of how the media really works and how the news gets made. we're asking big questions today about a divided nation, only briefly united in the aftermath of the shooting at congressional baseball practice. in an era of extreme rhetoric, should media figures be doing some soul searching? plus, were some senators this week trying to restrict press access in the capitol? i'll ask senator amy klobuchar. later in the hour, two big interviews raising questions about responsible interviewing. oliver stone joins me to discuss hi